Data analysis is one of the fastest growing fields in the United States. In fact, professional data analysts are so in demand they have less than a 1 percent unemployment rate, industry wide. Luckily, small business owners don't have to jockey against Fortune 500 companies to hire a first-rate data analyst. Online analysis tools and services have become more end-user focused, and there are lots of ways for regular entrepreneurs to get valuable insights into their business without a degree in statistics.
When it came to recommending data analysis tools, the small business owners we spoke to were unified in their responses. Nearly every entrepreneur who responded mentioned using Google Analytics to track their online presence. A few others said they relied on a combination of Google Analytics and other tools, such as Grow.
We received recommendations for Google Analytics from entrepreneurs running nonprofits, marketing companies, consulting firms, financial services companies, HR companies, fitness brands and more. Michael A. Reddy, the CEO of an online recruiting services called HireSphere, said, "We can't imagine not having the suite of Google Analytics tools to provide us key data to make decisions. We rely heavily on Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to collect and analyze our site data."
Google Analytics is popular with small business owners because it's free to sign up (as long as your site doesn't exceed 5 million impressions per month), and entrepreneurs feel comfortable putting their trust in a well-known tech giant like Google. Users also like that Google Analytics allows them to set up their dashboards however they want so the most pertinent data is displayed first.
A Premium account is available for $150,000 annually. That's probably a stretch for a small business, and probably not worth it unless you have resources dedicated to monitoring those reports.
In addition to Google Analytics, a few entrepreneurs mentioned using Grow for business intelligence and data analysis. One such business person was Mary M. "Mickey" Swortzel, the CFO and co-founder of New Eagle.
When Swortzel set out to find data solutions for her business, which specializes in control system solutions, she ran into a problem that many small business owners face. "Our company is too small for a standard ERP system," she stated. "…[T]herefore I [was] often looking at data from several sources separately." Attempting to combine the data from many sources became time-consuming, and Swortzel worried it could lead to inaccuracies, but Grow solves this problem.
This business intelligence dashboard software offers businesses of all sizes access to dashboards with more than 300 prebuilt metrics. The system also makes it easy to blend multiple data sources and create custom metrics so small business owners can continue using all the analysis tools they like while having one access point. In addition, Grow makes it simpler to present data with visual charts and graphs.
There are three different plans available: Professional, Premium and Branded. You'll have to contact the company directly to get a pricing quote based on your company's needs.